Belly fat is more than a pain in the belt-line, it can also be severely harmful to our health, with visceral fat being linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Losing fat from this area can often be difficult and long-winded, we’ve got 10 effective tips to help you lose the un-wanted belly fat to look and feel your best.
1 – Eat Plenty on FIBRE
Fibre absorbs water and forms a gel-like covering that slows the food absorption through your digestive system. Therefore you are more likely to feel fuller to longer as your tummy takes longer to empty. As a result you’re more likely to reduce the amount of calories.
Are all GREAT sources of FIBRE.
2 – Avoid Trans-Fats
These are un-natural fats found in margarines and some spreads. These fats have been linked to increased inflammation, heart disease, diabetes and abdominal fat gain – with one study showing increases of 33% more abdominal fats on a diet high in trans-fats.
This does NOT mean going ‘low fat’ but thinking about the
Look out for labels with trans-fats or partially hydrogenated fats on and avoid these.
3 – Alcohol
I know – you want to enjoy life and enjoy a
drink or 6. Actually, alcohol can have some health benefits, in small amounts. But it’s been observed that heavy alcohol consumption and binge drinking can lead to an increase in belly fat. In a study of over 2000 people those who averaged less than 1 alcoholic drink every day had less belly fat than people who consumed alcohol less often but had more alcohol on the occasions they drank.
Cutting down (not cutting out) can help reduce your waist size (ever heard of a beer belly).
4 – Eat More Protein
Protein is mentioned a lot a round weight loss, this is because much like fibre protein can increase the feeling of fullness (just for different reasons). Not just that but protein will also increase your metabolism and help you hold on to more toned muscle during weight loss as it helps protect against the breakdown of muscle for energy.
Good srouces of protein should be included in every meal (at least a palm sized portion) such as lean meats, fish, eggs and even whey protein powders.
5 – STRESS
The stress hormone cortisol can be responsible for a reduction in energy burnt during the day.
Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.”
It was also found that women who have a bigger waist also produce more stress hormone leading to a double whammy as research has shown that high stress levels can increase appetite (ever had the urge to binge eat on high sugar foods when stressed? – I know I do).
Therefore, it is vital that you engage in activities that you enjoy and allow you to de-stress.
6- High Sugar Foods
As mentioned above, stress creates a desire for high sugary foods, these are lacking in nutrients but contain high calorie values. What’s more, high sugar diets will leave you feeling hungry much quicker than high fat, or high protein therefore you’ll be reaching back into the cupboards much quicker and eating even more calories (and often you won’t even realise it).
7 – Weight Training
Despite the fat that it’s called weight training and most people want to lose “weight” most people avoid this type of training to reduce their weight. However, research shows that strength or weight training will preserve muscle mass (THE leading cause of a loss of independence).
Resistance training at high intensities can create a HUGE calorie deficit that allows your body to burn more calories for HOURS after the workouts finished. This is through an increase in muscle temperature, whilst having more toned, stronger muscle not only looks sexier, but also allows you to increase your metabolism to burn more calories when resting.
8 – Sleep.
Sleep is important for many health benefits including your weight. Research studies indicate that people who don’t get enough
sleep, or have poor quality sleep, end up eating more calories throughout the day and gain more weight.
Aim for 7 hours sleep per night to reduce the risk of over-eating (as a way to get more energy into our body).
9 – Avoid calories in drinks
Whether it’s fruit juices, fizzy drinks or even alcohol these calories add up and we don’t realise how much it’s making us gain weight.
Consuming calories in liquid form is even worse than high sugar foods, as our brain doesn’t realise we’re taking on calories and we don’t get full by having a can of coke etc.
To drop weight it’s best to avoid calorie drinks altogether, although it can be difficult in social circumstance to avoid alcohol we have some awesome mocktail recipes that are super low in calories, just email email@example.com.
10 – To get where you want to be – you need to alter your lifestyle
You’re where you are right now because of decisions and actions you’ve taken that have got you here. If you wish to be
somewhere different we need to make the necessary adjustments in our lifestyle as well as our diet.
This is why we focus on habits here at Next Level Performance, and why most diets fail to create results.
Create positive habits like going for an evening walk instead of sitting in front of the tv, or reward yourself with actions or items that are calorie free.
If you would like help with any of these please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our facebook page @NextLevelPerformance